Why should you outsource your Marketing?

savings-box-161876_1280How many times this week have you said ‘I haven’t got time to do any marketing!’  As a freelancer, I’m just as guilty and I know only too well that when you’re pushed for time – seeing to clients, building relationships and managing your staff – your marketing inevitably gets pushed to the back burner, especially when times are hard and budgets are stretched.

It is already common practice  to outsource your accounting team, customer service, and many other facets of business which you do to save overheads, commitment, recruiting time, training time, and the expense of employing full-time staff.

So why do you continue to leave your marketing to chance in the belief that a couple of tweets a day and a few likes on Facebook will be sufficient to create brand awareness and generate leads?

The reality is that investing in your marketing at times like this can in fact generate a huge return on sales and, when time is tight, outsourced help from a marketing professional can provide additional support from planning what to do, to making it happen; freeing up your time so you are able to concentrate on other areas of your business.

With the current climate pushing many small businesses to keep costs down and re-prioritise workloads, outsourcing can be a cost effective and efficient way to make sure your marketing is working.

Get the right marketing skills you need, when you need them

As a small business you often find yourself being a jack-of-all-trades, juggling different projects or delegating marketing projects to other members of your team who don’t have any marketing expertise.  Employing an experienced marketer full time to implement each aspect of your marketing plan can be costly to maintain in-house and by outsourcing specific tasks, gives you the opportunity to focus on other aspects of your business without the cost of employing a full time marketing professional.

Taking on the promotion for your own business can be daunting if you have little or no marketing expertise.  Sourcing an expert can help develop and implement your marketing plan and bring fresh creativity, new ideas and a completely different perspective.  They won’t be afraid to push the boundaries and show you what will work for your product.

It’s cost effective and time efficient

Whether you’re a one man band or a big brand, saving time and money is key to running a successful business.  By having top level marketing experts on hand whenever you need them, you’ll be avoiding the hidden costs of employing staff such as sick pay, office overheads and holidays.

For instance, if you have a marketing campaign planned to run over a specific period, you won’t be paying an in-house marketer during the times you don’t have marketing planned, thus saving both time and money.

You get personal, professional expert help

The right outsourced marketer will have a wealth of experience in a diverse range of markets.  They will be able to advise you on the best marketing techniques to suit your business and help to get the right messages to the right people at the right time.

By creating timelines, and delivering weekly or monthly reports on the project effectiveness you will be fully in control of your investment, so you know exactly where you are every step of the way.

Christine Davey
Christine Davey Marketing, Brighton

If you’d like to outsource any aspect of your own marketing,  Tweet me, contact me here or call me for an initial chat on 01273 772033 today.

Home Workers Beware! Be distracted at your peril. . .

Freelance Marketing Management BrightonAs a homeworker, I know how difficult it can be to remain productive when the house is full of tempting distractions.  Over the years, I’ve learned how to resist the urge when no one is looking over you, and giving in just means wasting precious time and money.

I tend to combine my time working on site with clients when I have a meaty project, but when I need to be ‘at my desk’ at home, I’ve managed to put a few disciplines in place to combat wasting time.

Find an appropriate workspace

Preferably a dedicated ‘office space’ –  ideally a spare room or even a converted shed at the end of the garden that you can close the door at the end of the day.  This is not always possible if space is an issue.  A dedicated area of a room is just as effective, as long as you make sure you delineate your time between work and recreation.  Here are some real homeworkers who have set up shop in a bedroom (me included) in WorkFromHomeWisdom.com

Keep to a definite business schedule

When working within an organization, your working hours are pretty much set in stone – 9am-5.30pm, 5 days a week – you’re contractually obliged to keep within these times (depending on what you do).  Working from home gives you much more flexibility, but it’s all too easy to take advantage of your freedom and discipline goes out of the window.

Try and stick to a schedule.  I make sure I set my alarm every morning and arrive at my desk to start planning my day by 9.30 when I’m working on a project from home.  It’s also a good idea to let your friends and family know your schedule to avoid those impromptu visits.

Never work in your Pyjamas!

I’ve read many articles over the years where small business homeworkers relish the opportunity to be able to fall out of bed and start working, without having to get dressed in a ‘business suit’.  Don’t do it!  Imagine the embarrassment when a client calls via Skype and you’re sitting there in your nightwear!  Being smartly dressed gives you a sense of professionalism and creates a good impression and, when the client calls for an urgent face-to-face meeting, you’re ready to go at a moment’s notice.

Stick to a routine

It’s all about managing your time and workload.  Manage your day carefully around work and family commitments.  Being a parent, the usual domestic chores and school run is going to play an important part of your working life and it’s essential to stick to a strict routine to remain productive.

With the advent of smartphones and tablets, it’s always tempting to overdo things.  If you’re in your ‘non-work’ mode and an important email pings through, it’s too tempting to jump on it immediately, which can be very distracting for both you and your family.

Get out and network

Meeting people face-to-face will make your working life much more bearable.  Working from home can be very isolating whether you live alone or you’re juggling work and family.  Taking advantage of the many business networking events will allow you to integrate with other human beings and give you an opportunity of making new business contacts with a view to gaining new customers.

There are lots of organisations out there that regularly run business networking and training events to take advantage of.  Whether you want to be locked in and pay an annual fee or just drop in for a coffee and a chat, here’s a list of some of the current groups in Brighton & Sussex.

Networking in Brighton & Sussex

Christine Davey
@DaveyMarketing

If you’d like some help to manage your marketing planning  Tweet me or call me on 01273 772033 to set up an initial chat over a coffee!

Going freelance: are you ready to take the plunge?

Davey Marketing KeyboardI read an article today on Marketing Donut, reporting on a whitepaper, The Future of Work which suggests that by 2015, physically working in an office day in and day out, will become a thing of the past.
Back in the nineties, when I was working in the world of advertising, it was generally frowned upon if you even suggested ‘working from home’ as an alternative cost-effective option to the dreary daily commute to the office.  In the eyes of cynical management, it was just a euphemism for ‘skiving’.

Of course this was in the days before  mobile devices, which nowadays enables workers to be ‘switched-on’ 24/7, resulting in people spending more time working than sleeping!

The study suggests that in the future, businesses will become more fluid, employing fewer full-time workers and opting to import freelance talent as and when they need it.

But even today, making the decision to give up a comfortable corporate job for the uncertainty of freelancing, is still a daunting prospect for some.

But you don’t have to be fearful, just prepared and determined, making sure you have a clear plan before taking the plunge:

What?
Think about exactly what products/services you are providing? Have a clear idea of your specialist skills and what the anticipated demand is likely to be.

Why?
Why do you do what you do; what drives you everyday to continue doing what you do?
Knowing your ‘why’ will set you apart from your competition and help you to grow and secure jobs.

Who?
Think about who your ‘customers’ could be; what are their needs, what motivates them to buy your products/services.
Identifying exactly who your target customers are by separating them into different groups will give you a clear focus on how to communicate with them to secure work.

How?
How are you going to reach your customers with appealing information about your products/services?
Think about the different ways they receive information and decide which will be the most likely cost-effective channel to communicate with them.

It will take time to build a good reputation in your field of work, but according to this study, by 2015 40% of us will no longer be working in an office, adapting instead to becoming mobile workers.

So, does becoming a freelancer sound like an appealing antidote to office life?

Christine Davey
@DaveyMarketing

If you’d like some help and advice on your marketing planning, Tweet me or call me on 01273 772033 today.